Family Time

If you are a parental figure, consider and answer these 7 questions. . .

1. How hard is it for you to set aside “family time”? What have you found to be most helpful to make sure your family gets priority time?

2. Today. Right now. How can you better serve your children?

  • Spending more time with them?
  • Giving them your undivided attention?
  • Giving them more affection?
  • Blessing them with special meals and other fun/meaningful occasions?

3. How could you get your children more involved in planning and celebrating family traditions? Are there ways you could enhance the spiritual dimension of your traditions?

4. How can you formally (e. g. family devotions) and informally (e. g. throughout your daily routine) communicate to your children the lasting values of who God is and what He has done?

5. What was the best vacation your family ever took? How can you begin planning a vacation that will honor the Lord by producing great memories for your children?

6. How regularly do you  go to (participate in) worship services as a family? What’s the most and least positive aspect of your family’s church involvement?

7. What can you do (as a parent) to make your family’s church (or worship) experience – and your children’s feelings about it – better?

What To Do When Your Parents Say “No” (Ephesians 6:1 – 3)

What To Do When Your Parents Say “No” (Ephesians 6:1 – 3). Bible Lesson. Teen Bible Lesson.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:1 – 3 (New American Standard Bible)

Introductory Questions:

1. How do “honor” and “obey” differ in meaning?

2. What does it mean to obey your parents “in the Lord”?

3. How long should a person keep honoring his or her parents? How does this question apply to a child? A teen? A young married person? A middle-aged person?

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Parents Are People Too

As a Christian and as a son or daughter, you’re expected to honor your father and mother. But how can you when they just don’t seem to understand?

1. Find out what works and what doesn’t work. Arguing and throwing a temper tantrum is a poor way to build a trusting relationship with your parents. You might accomplish a short-term goal if they give in. Yet the Bible commands you to honor your parents. Parents will usually treat you with respect if you earn it.

2. Many kids secretly rebel against their parents’ wishes. Planning to do behind their backs what your parents have already objected to is deceitful. You wouldn’t trust someone who talked about you behind your back, but in essence, this is what you expect your parents to do if you secretly rebel.

3. Unconditional acceptance of parental standards might seem like the most obvious way to “honor” your parents, but it may not be. Parents are people. They make mistakes. Learning from mistakes helps everyone grow spiritually. Your parents might never learn to trust you if they never allow you to venture out on your own. So don’t be afraid to occasionally ask them to reconsider a decision.

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Timing Is Everything

1. Choosing a time when your parents have a minute to discuss the matter – not when they’re stressed out or not after a rough day. Be considerate of their needs as well as your own.

2. When you’re ready to talk, try not to put them on the defensive. Let them know you respect their judgment, but you feel more discussion might be in order.

3. Then present your facts. Make sure you’re honest and direct with your parents. Give them a chance to explain their concerns with you. This builds trust and respect between you and your parents.

4. Really listen. You might discover your parents were justified in their decision. They could surprise you with how well they understand your situation. Or they might reveal an incident from their past that would help you understand their reactions.

5. Discuss the problem honestly and intelligently. Allow your parents to come to a final conclusion. Whatever the decision, stick to it. Otherwise, your parents may not trust you the next time.

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Related Articles (links) on this blog:

Instructions for Christian Fathers (parents)

Family Expectations: Case Studies for Young People (3 part series)

Quick List: Six Principles for Interpersonal Communication

It’s Your Decision: Anger Prevention and Conflict Resolution

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Can Women Work Outside of Home?

Can Women Work Outside of Home? Bible Question.

Question:

“An elder here has said that, according to 1 Timothy 5:14, the Christian woman is not to work outside the home. This bothers me greatly, for I work at a job and bring in a paycheck. We really need the money to live. I want to do what is right. Is there Bible authority for a woman to leave the home and work at a secular job?”

Answer:

. . .I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach . . . – 1 Timothy 5:14 (New American Standard Bible)

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” – Titus 2:3 – 5

These passages show that the primary work of the wife is to be a “homemaker”. But does this mean that it is wrong for her to work outside the home?

After these things he [the apostle Paul] left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers.” – Acts 18:1 – 3

Notice that Aquila and Priscilla were both tent-makers, which certainly involves what we call “working outside the home” – whether it was in a nearby shop or in their backyard. In the city of Philippi . . .

A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.” – Acts 16:14, 15

This woman was not just working at a job, she was operating her own business – seemingly in cities far from her hometown. The “excellent wife” of whom Solomon wrote in Proverbs 31 bought and sold items outside the home. In fact, she was in the real estate business!  So Priscilla, Lydia and the “excellent wife” worked outside their homes. And there is certainly no indication in the Scripture that they did wrong by doing so.

While the primary work of the wife and mother is to be a homemaker (fulfilling the needs of her family in various ways), the examples above show that it is not wrong for her to work at a job. Some choose to stay home and be a “housewife” (which involves an incredible amount of work and skill). Others choose to work at a job to bring in a paycheck and/or for personal fulfillment. Still others work outside their home because they have no choice!

It is either that, or starve. But the point is this: each woman must decide for herself (in consultation with her husband – if she has one), whether or not to work at a job outside the home or to pursue a career. God has not given anyone on earth the right to make that decision for her.

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